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5 big predictions for IPL 2018

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

The world’s biggest T20 competition is about to begin. There has been lots of drama in the build up, including over $4m worth of talent in Steve Smith and David Warner out of the IPL because of what happened in South Africa, as well as an injury to Mitchell Starc and more controversy surrounding Sunil Narine’s action. As always, there promises to be plenty of drama during the tournament, with each of the eight teams containing some fine cricketers.

Mumbai Indians will be out to defend their title, after pipping Rising Pune Sunrisers by one run in last year’s final. There is so much irony here – Pune were called “Rising” Pune, and are now no longer in the IPL, so make of that what you will. In a tournament with 60 matches, and in a format where only one or two overs can change the complexion of a game, picking five predictions has taken plenty of thought. Below are my five big predictions for the tournament, and it’d be great to hear your thoughts.

Prediction #1: Leading run scorer – Shikhar Dhawan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

The leading run scorer of IPL10, David Warner, unfortunately won’t be available for IPL11. There are so many quality batsmen going around in this tournament, but one I’m particularly impressed with in recent times is Shikhar Dhawan.
In the recent Nidahas Trophy, Dhawan was a key performer for India in the absence of so many stars. I feel this season, with the absence of David Warner from his Sunrisers Hyderabad team, Dhawan will take the responsibility to do well at the top of the order. He had a good IPL10, finishing third behind Warner and Gautam Gambhir, and I believe he can go two better this season and top the run scoring charts.
You can count on Shikhar Dhawan to perform in limited overs games

Prediction #2: Leading wicket taker – Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians)

IPL11 promises to be an exciting tournament due to the variety of bowlers on show. However, one bowler I always back to do well in limited overs matches is India’s Jasprit Bumrah
In limited overs cricket, Bumrah has been a sensation, known well around the world for his ability to bowl brilliantly in the death overs. I feel the spinners in this tournament will have a say, but a number of wickets will fall towards the end overs, and Bumrah is an excellent exponent of this. In IPL10, Jasprit Bumrah finished third in the wicket taking charts with 20, and I back him to also go two better and finish top.
Jasprit Bumrah is a quality bowler.
Catch my Preview of the opening match of IPL 2018!

Rajasthan Royals will realise they spent too much on Jaydev Unadkat

Jaydev Unadkat was superb in last year’s IPL, finishing second in the wicket takers chart with 24 at an economy rate of just 7.02. However, is he worthy of being India’s most expensive player at the IPL Auction?
I believe Rajasthan Royals, who picked up Unadkat for 11.5 crore (US$1.80 million), have overspent on him, mainly because his career with India hasn’t taken off as some thought it might. An example is the recent Nidahas Trophy, where he found himself in and out of the India side. Despite finishing second best wicket taker, he went for an economy rate of nearly 10, and for a player with just 10 T20Is and sub-100 T20 games to his name, this amount spent by Rajasthan is a gamble that I’m not entirely sure will pay off.
Jaydev Unadkat – will he be worth the money?

Team who finishes last – Kolkata Knight Riders

It’s been an awful lead up to the tournament for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Mitchell Starc, one of their main bowling weapons, has been ruled out of the tournament with injury. Also, more doubt surrounds Sunil Narine, who was again reported for his action in the recent PSL, and has been banned from bowling offspinners in this tournament. Chris Lynn, another big star, continues to have shoulder issues, and one can only wonder what impact he will have in this tournament.
Also, I am concerned about their leadership. Losing Gautam Gambhir, IPL10’s second highest run scorer, is a big blow, and much will be asked of what is looking like a bit of a thin squad. Their spin attack, also comprising of Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav looks pretty decent, but their squad lacks the experience other teams have, in my opinion. I think KKR could finish bottom due to the distractions they have faced, and the relatively thin squad they possess.

Winner – Royal Challengers Bangalore

What amazing batting resources Royal Challengers Bangalore have. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum – WOW. Also add the likes of Quinton de Kock, Colin de Grandhomme and Corey Anderson who can all hit the ball a fair way.
One concern I have with RCB is the lack of depth in their bowling, despite having Yuzvendra Chahal, Tim Southee, and India’s impressive 18-year old Washington Sundar in their squad. RCB will need to get a good return from their bowlers, including Mohammed Siraj, across the tournament. If they can manage this, you would think their batsmen will get them over the line in most games, and have enough to take out the title.
I could be wrong of course, but RCB is a side with so much talent that if they can get their combinations right, they will be very hard to beat.
What a scary proposition for any team facing RCB.
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So what do you think? Are there any predictions you particularly agree/disagree with? Keen to hear your thoughts!

Mumbai v CSK Preview

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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